Former real estate lawyer and his wife plead guilty to mortgage fraud and tax charges | USAO-MA
BOSTON — A former Massachusetts attorney and his wife pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to various mortgage fraud schemes.
Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr., 61, and Nancy Plunkett, 56, both of Hyannis Port, pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated impersonation. Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr. also pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. U.S. Primary District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf set sentencing for June 10, 2022. The Plunketts were indicted in July 2020.
Before being disbarred in October 2017, Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr. owned and operated the Plunkett law firm where his wife, Nancy Plunkett, was his office assistant and paralegal.
The defendants engaged in several bank fraud schemes. In one scheme, from September 2012 to July 2016, the defendants defrauded six mortgage lenders and 14 landlords for whom the law firm Plunkett handled the closings of new mortgages to refinance residential properties. Defendants informed mortgage lenders that pre-existing mortgages were paid off from new loan proceeds when in fact the Plunketts intentionally failed to repay prior liens and instead converted more than $900,000 into repayment funds for their own purposes.
In other bank fraud schemes – between April 2015 and March 2018 – the Plunketts fraudulently used various names, entities and false documents to secure three successive mortgages on their Hyannis Port home for amounts of $412,000, 470,000 $ and $1.2 million. The defendants pledged property in Hyannis Port that was held in a family trust of which Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr. was one of three beneficiaries. The two defendants participated in providing false documents to the lenders, including false title reports and other documents to falsely represent that the property was free and clear of any existing mortgage liens and false documents in the name of other people. The defendants also made false statements to a lender that Nancy Plunkett was a single woman living in Wellesley who was buying the property under her maiden name as a business investment when in fact the defendants had been married since 2014 and that the property was their residence.
The bank fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of probation and a $250,000 fine. The tax evasion charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigation for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Mackenzie Queenin, from Rollins’ Securities, Finance and Cyber Fraud Unit, and Carol Head, head of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit, are prosecuting the case. .